Magical ocarina from the Studio Ghibli anime film is now available to purchase.

One of Studio Ghibli’s most well-known and beloved films is the 1988 hit My Neighbour Totoro. The animated movie features a cast of magical forest characters, and one memorable scene shows them playing a mysterious instrument atop a giant tree.

The giant Totoro and his smaller Totoro pals create beautiful flute-like music from the instrument, but for sisters Mei and Satsuki it’s a little more difficult to master.

So what is this mysterious instrument? It’s a “ceramic flute“, or ocarina, and you can actually buy it at the Ghibli Museum.

Packaged in a cardboard box, the “Totoro Ceramic Flute” comes with a set of instructions and a leather strap so you can wear the flute around your neck.

The flute is beautifully shaped, with the same delightfully plump appearance as the instrument seen in the film.

The side with the cute Totoro image on it is actually the backside of the instrument, and should be held facing the floor, with one thumb over each hole while it’s being played.

▼ The other side of the flute has four finger holes…

▼ And at the tip is a slit which acts as the mouthpiece.

The instruction booklet has two adorable Totoros on the front cover, showing us how the flute should be played.

▼ And inside, there’s sheet music for the song “Sanpo” from My Neighbour Totoro

▼ …And the popular children’s song “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree“.

The instructions show that the instrument should be held in two hands, with both thumbs on the back of the flute and the index and middle fingers covering the four finger holes on the other side. Covering various holes will allow you to play ten notes, stretching out over an octave from C to D.

It might look simple, but trust us it’s not! Here to show us how it’s done, though, are the staff from the Ghibli Museum, who recently put a lot of time and effort into mastering the instrument before performing the theme song from My Neighbour Totoro at the end of this video.

Like all instruments, the ceramic flute requires a bit of practice, but it’s a lot of fun to play, and the sounds you can create have a beautiful quality to them.

▼ The flute is available to purchase from the Ghibli Museum’s Mamma Aiuto! gift shop for 1,980 yen (US$19.01).

It’s a fun way to bring some of the magic from the anime film into the real world, and we’re looking forward to practising the flute like Mei and Satsuki, although probably not at the top of a giant Totoro tree in the middle of the night.

Once we’ve improved our skills, though, we might take it to Tokorozawa Station to see if we can keep up with the new Totoro departure melodies that can now be heard playing every time a train leaves the station.

Photos © SoraNews24
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